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Even in an industry packed to the brim with ingenious makers, there are few that have had the lasting impact of Universal Audio's M.T. \"Bill\" Putnam Sr. Since finding his place in the studio as an engineer in his early years, Putnam transformed the way many listen, look and think during the recording process. We went on an exclusive tour of Universal Audio's headquarters in Scotts Valley, California. Get an inside look at UA's incredible facilities including manufacturing center, testing area and state-of-the-art studio by watching the video above.
Few companies in the world of pro audio have garnered the reputation of Universal Audio. Started by legendary audio engineer, producer, and studio designer Bill Putnam Sr., many of the brand’s earliest designs live on today in both analog and digital form.
In 1958, Bill Putnam founded Universal Audio Inc. as a means for him to design and manufacture professional tools for use at his own recording facility, the famed United Recording. Among his earliest creations were the legendary tube 610 console, and the 1176. Not long after, Putnam acquired Teletronix, and began selling the beloved LA-2A compressor with the Universal Audio name on it.
Universal Audio continues to innovate today as the brand has become one of the industry leaders in audio interfaces. Its state-of-the-art Apollo X series features some of the best conversion on the market and Unison-enabled mic pres. When paired with Universal Audio plug-ins, these mic pres can replicate the actual impedance level and gain staging response of the classic gear being emulated.
It would be impossible to mention Universal Audio without talking about the brand’s groundbreaking plug-ins. From emulations of its 610, 1176, and LA-2A, to holy grail items like the Fairchild 670 and Helios Type 69, Universal Audio breathes life into these plug-ins that make it feel like you’re using the real thing. Open up the UAD library, and you’ll see an expansive catalog of revered gear flawlessly recreated for in the box use.
With both classic hardware and software tools in its lineup, it’s no mystery as to why Universal Audio ranks among the best pro audio companies in the world. The brand has been at the top of the game for over six decades and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
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